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ERIC Number: ED507176
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
Does Context Matter? How the Family, Peer, School, and Neighborhood Contexts Relate to Adolescents' Civic Engagement. CIRCLE Working Paper #64
Wilkenfeld, Britt
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)
This working paper is a summary of the author's dissertation, submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for her doctoral degree under the supervision of Dr. Judith Torney-Purta (successfully defended February 4, 2009). In her study she explored potential explanations for disparities in adolescent civic engagement through a comprehensive examination of context effects, including a focus on the mechanisms by which schools and neighborhoods collectively facilitate civic engagement. Learning the specific characteristics, practices, and processes of schools that help or hinder diverse groups of adolescents can suggest best practices for enhancing civic engagement for young people of a particular demographic background or in a particular neighborhood environment. Four consistent patterns emerged from the analyses (across the four civic outcomes). First, there is a civic engagement gap among adolescents in the United States associated with students' demographic characteristics. Second, civic learning opportunities in many contexts are related to the civic engagement of young people. Third, contextual effects for characteristics of the school such as school socioeconomic status (SES) and school climate for open discourse are found over and above individual effects. Fourth, aspects of the neighborhood context influence adolescents' civic outcomes through interactions with the school environment, students' civic experiences, and students' demographic characteristics. The current study provides further support for the existence of distinguishable types of civic-related school experiences and the importance of examining multiple contexts of influence on development. A list of items and scales used in the analyses is appended. (Contains 3 figures and 5 footnotes.)
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Lincoln Filene Hall, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155. Tel: 617-627-4781; Fax: 617-727-3401; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 9
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
Identifiers - Location: United States